By A CULT Member
Amazon is reportedly launching a digital assets enterprise, with a focus on blockchain-based gaming and NFTs, according to four sources familiar with the matter. The e-commerce giant is expected to launch its NFT initiative in the spring and has been shopping the digital collectibles effort to a number of power players in the industry, including layer-1 blockchains, blockchain-based gaming startups, and digital asset exchanges. One example in the works is getting Amazon customers to play crypto games and claim free NFTs in the process.
The effort is still developing, but April is reportedly the month penciled in for Amazon to make its crypto ambitions public. It’s being reported that Amazon’s move into the crypto space is “a big one” and that it will affect existing players in the space. Amazon executives leading the push reached out to at least one family office in recent months, one of the sources said. At the time, the plan was to do at least one NFT drop with an artist, the same source said.
Amazon’s Web3 blueprint appears to have significantly evolved since then, but it’s unclear who is leading the NFT initiative. Details about the platform are still unfolding, but two sources said the platform is set to run out of Amazon proper, rather than its popular web-hosting platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS). An additional fifth source said Amazon has been exploring a number of other Web3 initiatives of late.
While Amazon Web Services has posted occasional roles for developers and engineers in the Web3 realm, the e-commerce site is not as well known for exploring the crypto or blockchain arenas. An Amazon Coins program continues to exist, following an introduction in 2013, but it is more akin to a straightforward loyalty program than a crypto initiative.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has previously stated that he is open to the company selling NFTs and that the company is not closing the door to cryptocurrencies generally. The full extent of Amazon’s Web3 ambitions and end goals are not yet known, but it’s likely that the company intends to compete with the likes of OpenSea and Rarible. With the number of customers Amazon has, they could make a huge splash in the NFT marketplace.